How To Make Your Bathroom Safer

The bathroom; it's typically the smallest room in the home. ironically, it's also the most dangerous.

Drowning, falls, burns, and electrical shock are all dangers your family can come across in the bathroom. There are many ways to make your bathroom safer, some of which are easy and others a little more involved. You should consider the ages of the people living in the home to determine which safety precautions to take.

Protecting the children in your home from bathroom dangers is pretty easy and simple.

*Don't let children take a bath without help.

*Keep all medications, cosmetics and cleaning supplies out of reach and locked up.

*Set your water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or just below the medium heat setting. Many times, children don't realize just how hot water can get and can burn their sensitive skin.

*And always be sure to unplug appliances after use and store them out of children's reach.

The bathroom can be a dangerous place for elderly or those who are not able to move around easily. There are many things that can be done to make a bathroom more accessible and safer. First, you will want to make sure the floor of the bathroom next to the tub has a non-slip bath mat and that the floor is always kept dry. In the tub itself, you will want to install a grab bar along the wall of the bath. Make sure this is a horizontally placed bar of appropriate length. Angled bars are not suggested, as they can allow your hands to slip in trying to support your body weight and may lead to a fall. The bar should be long enough for use from anywhere in the tub and also be strong enough to support your weight. Other ways to decrease the chance of falls in the tub is by placing a non-slip mat in the bottom of the tub or buying a folding seat to wash from. A single-lever mixing faucet can control temperature and flow of water better than dual controls and a flexible shower arm can help direct water where needed.

You can also consider replacing your current tub with a tub that has a walk-through insert or doing a complete tub-to-shower conversion. A tub-to-shower conversion is the removal of the existing tub and installation of a shower base. Acrylic liner systems are best for tub and shower conversions. The acrylic liner systems come with molded, slip resistant bottoms and the ability to place grab bars and accessory trays in any location. To maximize safety you can place a folding seat or seated shower base in the shower. You can modify the system to suit your needs, including color, design and accessories. The acrylic bath and shower liner systems are easy to install so you won't be without a bathroom for very long. There are no grout lines to clean and will not crack, chip or peel, meaning little to no maintenance.

As with any remodeling projects in your home, you want to make sure safeguarding your bathroom is done completely and properly. Be sure that your bathroom contractor has a good reputation, professional certification and great references.

About the Author: My family business, New York Sash of Whitesboro, are experts in bathroom remodeling and would love to take care of your family. Visit www.newyorksash.com or call (315) 624-7344 for options and more information.

Kathryn Reilly is a Production and Marketing Assistant for the television show CNY's Open House. Contact her at kreilly@newyorksash.com.